5 Tips to Engage Your Audience With Push Messages

April 6th, 2015

5 Tips to Engage Your Audience With Push Messages

If you’re doing your job well, you’ve already invested in a number of marketing channels, and you’re paying attention to which ones work. You probably also know that varying levels of consumer readiness and engagement can result in varying returns on investment. The paid search ads which once roped in a prospect have now become “noise” they sift through when searching for your content online.

As part of a holistic marketing strategy, your vehicle for communication must be paired with the appropriate stage of the customer lifecycle. Quick—pull out your phone. How would you rate your level of engagement with the brands you see on the homescreen? I’m assuming those brands have your loyalty. So when it comes to your most loyal audience, does your communication strategy include push messaging via mobile?

Short of actually being in your store or using your product, the most engaged your prospects will be is while using your mobile app . Think about it: If 90% of consumers are rarely further than an arm’s length away from their mobile phones, then the apps they engage with while using it are among their favorite and most trusted brands. What’s more, research by Localytics shows that when users enable push, app engagement is 88% higher.

But push messaging isn’t just about blasting your users with worthless content. Like a true conversation, it still requires a level of strategy that will keep them engaged going forward.

Here are five tips for engaging your audience through push.

Launch New Content

Keep users in the app by pointing them to cool new content to check out, including audio, video, whitepaper downloads, new sales, blog posts, and more. Our church customers have done a great job in this area, sending push notifications to let members know that new sermon content is available every Sunday afternoon.

Send Real-Time Notifications

Give users real-time updates leading up to or during an event, or draw them to action through alerts and reminders they’ll appreciate. For example, try sending a push notification 10 minutes before your keynote starts, and remind attendees that seats will fill fast!

Don’t Over-Message

Don’t break users’ trust by being send-happy with your alerts—or else they might turn them off altogether. Be strategic about what’s helpful to them, and base your frequency off how often you see them in-store, or interact with them through other channels. If your email newsletter goes out monthly, chances are you might want to send push notifications no more than once a week or once a month, to stick with a cadence they’re used to.

Segment, Don’t Blast

Does everyone need to know that your pink blouses are on sale? Probably not. The best mobile providers offer segmented push messages that allow users to opt-in to message categories—increasing engagement with those who care and saving frustration for those who don’t. One of my favorite use cases for this feature is found with our customer Zionsville Schools—they segment their notifications to parents by grade level.

Make Messages Easy to Find

Just because a user misses an alert from you doesn’t mean it should go unread. Try to leverage an app provider that offers a message inbox, to let users read at their leisure—when they have bandwidth to take action on your messages. For example, I don’t allow my Starbucks app to alert me with push messages, but I go check them about once a week to look for offers.

My team and I are constantly looking for ways to enable marketers who want to enhance their mobile communication strategy around their most loyal and engaged stakeholders, and I’d love to hear examples of messaging that’s worked for your brand.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook or Google+ pages.

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